The second disc of Samurai Champloo contains two of my favorite episodes of the series. This disc also includes more starvation, more of Fuu's troubling situations, and a glimpse into Jin's dark and mysterious past.
The episodes included on the disc are: "Artistic Anarchy," "Stranger Searching," "A Risky Racket," and "The Art of Altercation."
A simple episode. The gang, once again, find themselves broke and starving in a new city. They split up to find ways to make money. Apparently there's an undercover slave trafficking operation going on in the city, which a detective named Manzou is in town to uncover and disband.
Fuu encounters Ukiyo-e artist Hishikawa Moronobu (an actual historical figure of the time period), and he offers to pay her if she'll pose for a painting. Mugen meanwhile does what he does best and picks out the toughest looking guys in town, and beats them up for their cash. Jin takes a quieter route, betting his life (in servitude) against an old man's bag of money in a game of shougi (a Japanese chess game). Unfortunately, it turns out that Moronobu works with the kidnappers - his paintings serve as a sort of catalog customers use to choose the woman they want.
Again our unlucky trio is broke and starving. Lucky for them, the Edo town they have just entered is holding an eating contest. Unluckily, it is not free, and the group must forfeit their weapons as an entrance fee. Fortunately Fuu claims that she has a bottomless stomach for free food. Unfortunately, she's up against a strange looking foreign man with an equally voracious appetite. And she looses. The winner, a Dutch man calling himself Jouji, approaches the group, sporting all their weapons, and offers to return them if they give him a tour of the city. What he doesn't tell them (among other things) is that he's being chased by the Japanese police.
A Risky Racket:
Going off of Jouji's tip, the gang sets off for Nagasaki. But, as usual, the episode starts out with a lack of funds; this time they manage to win some in a gambling game(with the help of a certain squirrel). It's immediately stolen from Fuu by a pickpocket. Mugen and Jin manage to track the pickpocket named Shinsuke to his house, but only find his sickly mother. Shinsuku meanwhile is off getting into some serious trouble, having unwittingly stolen a bag of opium. It will be hard to sell, but he desperately needs the funds to buy his mother stronger medication. Fuu, set to spy on the house for Mugen and Jin, witnesses a conversation between Shinsuke and his mother, and the next morning she goes back to the house and has a long talk with the very ill woman. But when Fuu tries to confront Shinsuke later, she gets wrapped up in his attempt to escape the thugs whose opium he stole, and becomes his hostage.
The Art of Altercation:
A very flashy and showy samurai named Nagamitsu has been hunting down other samurai who wear glasses; specifically a glasses wearing samurai named Jin. He meets our wandering trio at a restaurant, and immediately takes a liking to Fuu. He flirts with her through his flunky Shinpachi, and eventually asks her out on a date for later that evening, and leaves when one of his other men comes in saying that another glasses wearing samurai has been found. Since Jin had just pawned off his spectacles for the money for the meal, Nagamitsu ignores both the men. But a very busty woman armed with drinks does not ignore them, and indeed invites them to her house for some better wine. Mugen's eagerness sets Fuu into a fury, and she decides to meet up with Nagamitsu out of spite. Poor Fuu; she just wants a little attention. Nagamitsu decides to tell her his life story, and describes his journey to find and fight a man said to be undefeated in 1000 battles. But when he got there, the man was already dead, so now he is on a journey to find the man's killer, whom he claims is named Jin. Fuu can't believe what she's hearing, and goes home for the night, only to wake up to a hungover (and recently robbed) Mugen and Jin.